The Black Powder Cartridge News|Summer 2020
Bompie's Winchester High Wall .38-55It wasn’t until years later I realized he was also training me to hunt deer. He gave me a compass, taught me to orient and read a map, gave me my first rifle and took me fishing in Canada. When I was eight, he gave me a copy of Robert Ruark’s The Old Man and the Boy for Christmas with the inscription: “To the Boy (Zachary) from the Old Man (Bompie).” His mentorship is what led me down the path to being a professional gunsmith. This is the story of the rifle I built for him.
The old High Wall action.
This Winchester 1885 High Wall rifle started out as a prime example of a gun begging for restoration. The stock wood had shrunk, been shattered, repaired and broken again. The bore of the octagon barrel in .32-40 had all the charm of a sewer pipe. All of the external metal was dinged, grayed, or patinaed; however, the internals (excepting the breech of the chamber and extractor) were clean and showed little wear. The barrel was sent to J E S Rifle Reboring to be bored out and rerifled with Winchester-style rifling.
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